There’s been a rise of more people going vegan or vegetarian. But now, with more emphasis on sustainability and climate change, being vegan goes beyond just your diet and it also describes the kind of lifestyle that you choose to lead on a daily basis.
While vegan beauty may seem synonymous with clean beauty or cruelty-free beauty, they are all different. In this case, vegan beauty refers to products that are free of animal-derived ingredients or animal products. These ingredients will usually be substituted with botanical or synthetic counterparts.
So if you’re leaning towards a vegan lifestyle or are simply curious about vegan beauty, we might have just the thing that will pique your interest. Ahead, we’ve sussed out 13 brands and products, from intensive hair treatments to matte lipsticks, that are worth getting your hands on if you’re planning to go green.
Handmade Heroes is a Singapore skincare brand that is entirely vegan, cruelty-free and Halal-certified that carries products catering to every part of your body, from your lips to your hair. Their focus is on creating quality skincare that not only doesn’t harm animals but also protects the Earth. Instead of plastic microbeads and marine toxic ingredients, Handmade Heroes opts to use salt and sugar as exfoliants and natural ingredients in their products. As for the packaging, the products here are entirely recyclable (they show you how to recycle too) and are made with plastic neutral packaging.
Formulated with Arabica coffee grounds and shea butter, this body scrub works to stimulate your circulation and exfoliate your skin, leaving you with ultra-smooth and coffee-scented skin, with a hint of orange thanks to the addition of orange peel oil. This body scrub is also perfect for areas that tend to have more cellulite such as the thighs, stomach and butt.
Abduct Cosmetics was founded in 2017 right here in Singapore, with a deep focus on the research and development of their products, ensuring all their creations are well tested before launching them into the market.
Known for their makeup products such as foundations and concealers, they view makeup and skincare as one — incorporating ingredients like Niacinamide, Hyaluronate and Aloe into their cosmetics. Of course, Abduct Cosmetics is also known for its vegan, cruelty-free formulas that are free from sulphates and parabens.
One of their key products would have to be the Silk Serum. With a serum-like texture, the product is well-loved for its soft-matte finish that feels luxurious and comfortable on your skin. Coming in 17 shades, this lightweight foundation promises an 18-hour wear and claims to be water, sweat, and transfer-resistant — a must for our new norm of mask-wearing.
Though the texture is not as viscous as most foundations on the market, the serum foundation is buildable enough to provide full coverage, without the skin looking or feeling cakey or cloying. Some of the ingredients that you can find in this formula include Aloe leaf for hydration, Panax Ginseng Root to smooth out the skin tone, and Prunus Persica Kernel (also known as peach kernel oil) to calm and further hydrate the skin.
Oasis: is a beauty brand founded by Singaporean Hildra Gwee. The brand, best known for making products by hand, makes use of natural ingredients in its formulas. Offering an extensive range of skincare and hair care products, you can expect beauty essentials such as solid shampoos and facial cleansing bars that are made with plant-based ingredients such as juniper berries and holy basil.
Leaning into her experience with skin issues and her heart for the planet, Oasis: crafts products that aim to eliminate single-use waste at home without compromising on the quality of experience. You can head down to their physical store and Beauty Kitchen to check out their products as well as a multitude of other brands like Savonnerie Fer a Cheval — the oldest and last remaining soap factory in France that produces traditional Marseille soap.
This dry shampoo rids your hair of any nasty oils and smells whilst giving it an added boost of volume. Formulated with organic arrowroot and holy basil, it comes in a handy shaker bottle that is easy to pop into the smallest of purses. They also offer refill packs of dry shampoo powder. Here’s to instant freshness on the go!
Beth is a vegan hair care brand that produces high quality shampoo and conditioner bars in an effort to reduce plastic wastage and show how making that switch can do so much for the planet and your hair. All their products are curated in Singapore, with each shampoo bar formulated to hold three bottles worth of shampoo. Yes, you read that right.
Presently, they carry two shampoo bars that are silicone, sulphate and paraben-free. And if you’re sensitive to fragrances or colour dyes, you won’t have to worry because these products contain none of those nasties.
Their Rose Shampoo Bar is formulated for dry and normal hair types, plus all you folks with coloured or treated hair. Equipped with a blend of sunflower seed oil, avocado oil, evening primrose oil and rose oil, the shampoo will leave your hair feeling nourished and smelling like a bouquet of roses.
Grounded on two decades worth of skincare research and innovation, RE:ERTH uses formulas that are a cross of nature and science. Their key ingredients are Japanese Turmerics, a process that took them over 30 iterations until finalising their formula. The Japanese White Turmeric and Japanese Spring Turmeric plants are used in their products as skin boosters to restore the skin’s health. This cruelty-free brand also offers a line of products that are mostly vegan.
Their signature product is the Multi-Targeted Elixir, a lightweight serum that addresses concerns like large pores, dark spots, dull skin, fine lines and wrinkles. Oil-free with no added fragrance, this formula is suited even for sensitive skin. We love how it absorbs easily into the skin and brightens up the overall complexion.
Luxe Botanics is a vegan and cruelty-free skincare brand that has a range of high performing skincare products that’s been formulated with transformative botanicals. Founded by Jené Roestorf, a South African biological scientist, these products combine the benefits of botanical oils with trusted science and research.
Powered by Kigelia fruit extract, this moisturiser gently purifies the skin while supporting cellular regeneration in the skin. The natural peptides help restore the appearance of supple and youthful skin, while the Kigelia fruit extract calms the skin. Suited for those with sensitive, acne-prone, or post-treatment skin, this moisturiser glides seamlessly on the skin and feels absolutely sublime.
This local award-winning skincare brand has a range of multi-purpose skincare products that use superfood-powered and scientifically-proven ingredients to protect and repair the skin. Entirely cruelty-free, most of their products are vegan and made in Korea.
One of their popular products would have to be the Dream Capsule — an overnight mask that helps to repair and nourish the skin while you’re sleeping. Its silky air-whipped texture melts instantly into the skin and uses bakuchiol to help hydrate, boost collagen production and reduce fine lines without any harsh effects. Using purslane, an anti-ageing ingredient, it helps to protect the skin’s DNA by strengthening the cell’s repair function.
This Korean vegan beauty brand formulates its products with green coffee bean extract in its purest forms to help give your skin a more radiant and glowing finish. This rich source of antioxidants provides Vitamin E and essential fatty acids for the skin.
This intensive hair mask treatment uses green coffee bean oil, argan oil, and vitamin E to deeply repair, nourish, and strengthen the hair. For those whose hair has been overexposed to the sun, frequent heat-styling, or chemical processing, this treatment mask helps to protect and moisturise the hair to strengthen it from within. It also intensely hydrates dehydrated hair while giving back its shine and gloss.
Registered as a partner of the Vegan Society, Aromatica is a cruelty-free and vegan clean beauty brand that uses natural and organic ingredients to deliver effective products. Eco-cert certified the brand is also committed to promoting good environmental and societal practices.
Formulated with Damask Rose Oil, aloe vera, and other organic herbal extracts, this serum helps to brighten and keep the skin hydrated. The Damask Rose Oil has soothing, smoothing, and anti-inflammatory properties that can help with stress-related skin conditions.
Forest Rhapsody is a local beauty brand that is formulated with modern science that celebrates age-old beauty rituals across Southeast Asia. They’re also a part of Beauty Emporium’s #AntiNastiesClub that curates brands with ingredients that are certified organic, vegan, cruelty-free, and sustainably or ethically sourced.
This dual-action resurfacing mask helps to gently exfoliate the skin through chemical and physical means while protecting the skin’s health. Using Pyruvic acid from roselle flower, this mask provides gentle and effective exfoliation. The finely milled bamboo powder helps to polish the skin and remove remnants of dead skin cells while the bearberry helps even out the skin tone and fade pigmentation effectively.
Founded by a mother-daughter duo, Two Halves is a culmination of their experience in the skincare and beauty industry. The products are formulated to leave out harmful ingredients and substances that may otherwise be detrimental to the skin and environment. Produced and developed in Japan-based laboratories, their unique formulas are vegan-friendly and environmentally safe.
Formulated with a potent blend of botanical extracts packed with anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and anti-photoaging properties, this lightweight watery gel glides easily on the skin. Best suited for those with sensitive skin, it helps to calm and nourish the skin while reducing collagen degradation.
An ethical brand founded in Singapore, Want Skincare is formulated with pure botanical oils and minerals that are sustainably sourced. Their cruelty-free products are free from chemicals, synthetic ingredients, and water.
A popular must-have would have to be the brand’s facial spritzer that works as a face mist, toner, and mask activator. You can use it to prepare your skin after cleansing to keep it hydrated with its aloe vera-based formula. And keep your skin hydrated even as you’re wearing masks on the go.
This Malaysian beauty brand offers a range of affordable and cruelty-free products that are also vegan and hypoallergenic. With shades suitable for all skin tones, Nita Cosmetics showcases what it’s like to be unapologetically Malaysian and celebrate the visual aspects of their customs, traditions, and cuisines in their products.
This rose beige shade is well suited for Asian skin tones, and the mauve tones are reminiscent of the frothy sweet teh tarik drink. Simply swipe on the lips and leave it to dry, and you’ll be left with a beautiful matte and hydrating finish that’s perfect for wearing (even under your masks).
This article was first published in Women’s Weekly. It has since been updated.